15 May 2012 Last updated at 16:15

As it happened: Francois Hollande's inauguration

Key Points

  • Francois Hollande has been sworn in as France's next president.
  • The new leader said he would fight for unity and reconciliation, and lead by example.
  • Mr Hollande says he is fully aware of the challenges facing France, including the debt deficit and high unemployment.
  • "My mandate is to bring France back to justice, open up a new way in Europe, contribute to world peace and preserve the planet," Mr Hollande said.
  • After a day of ceremonies, the new president has flown to Berlin to meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
  • All times in GMT
  1.  
    0800:

    Welcome to the BBC's live coverage of the swearing in of Francois Hollande as France's new president, following his election victory over Nicolas Sarkozy on 6 May.

     
  2.  
    0813:

    Francois Hollande arrives at the Elysee in Paris and shakes hands with outgoing President Nicolas Sarkozy. The two then head into a private meeting at which France's nuclear launch codes will be handed over.

     
  3.  
    0818:

    Guests are in the Elysee Palace waiting for the ceremony to begin. After taking his oath, Mr Hollande will take part in a traditional procession in an open-topped car along the Avenue des Champs-Elysees.

     
  4.  
    0831:

    A formal handover ceremony is set to take place any minute in which Mr Hollande will sign a statement and make a short speech. Mr Hollande, who will be the country's first Socialist president in 17 years, has been active in politics for many years. You can read more about the next leader here.

     
  5.  
    0840:

    Mr Hollande and Mr Sarkozy come downstairs after their meeting and shake hands. Mr Sarkozy leaves the palace with his wife, Carla Bruni, to applause from the waiting crowd. French TV says Mr Hollande did not wait for his car to leave.

     
  6.  
    0843:

    Mr Hollande is awarded the Legion d'Honneur, France's oldest and highest distinction.

     
  7.  
    0845:

    Mr Hollande is sworn in as the new president of France - the 7th president of the Fifth Republic.

     
  8.  
    0850:

    In an address, Mr Hollande says he is "aware of the challenges" that the country is facing and promises to do his best to provide unity. "Our differences should not become divisive. Our diversity should not disunite us. The country needs reconciliation," he says.

     
  9.  
    0858:

    The new president said he would be proposing to the EU a new pact that would not only cut debt levels, but also boost growth. He said "justice" would be at the centre of any decisions he makes. Mr Hollande was elected on a programme of opposing austerity policies pursued across the EU. Later he will travel to Berlin to meet their most important backer, German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

     
  10.  
    0900:

    Mr Hollande shakes hands with guests at the palace after his short speech. Meanwhile, the Elysee Palace website has changed to reflect Mr Hollande's new status but tells visitors they will have to return later to see a biography.

     
  11.  
    0915:

    After his inauguration, Mr Hollande stood before a military band as it played the French national anthem, La Marseillaise. Mr Hollande's swearing in comes as worrying economic news is released: data today shows the French economy recorded zero growth in the first quarter, after growth of 0.1% at the end of 2011.

     
  12.  
    0928:

    For the first time ever in France, the incoming presidential couple are not man and wife. The BBC's Hugh Schofield looks at the new First Lady, Valerie Trierweiler.

     
  13.  
    BBC Europe editor Gavin Hewitt

    tweets: Key ambition from Hollande. A pact that ties reduction of deficit to 'indispensable stimulation of the economy'. #FRANCE

     
  14.  
    0940:

    More of what Mr Hollande said in his first speech as president. In the televised address, he said that he wished to deliver a "message of confidence". "We are a great nation. Throughout its history, France has overcome the challenges it faced," he added. "Each time, the people have prevailed while remaining faithful to themselves." He added: "My mandate is to bring France back to justice, open up a new way in Europe, contribute to world peace and preserve the planet."

     
  15.  
    0944:

    Mr Hollande leaves the Elysee Palace in an open-topped classic Citroen DS. The traditional procession is to travel along the Champs Elysees to the Arc de Triomphe.

     
  16.  
    0950:

    So how did Mr Hollande get here? While he has many positive attributes, the BBC's Hugh Schofield asks if his greatest asset is simple good fortune.

     
  17.  
    0957:

    The rain is pouring down, but it doesn't seem to be dampening Mr Hollande's spirits. As he proceeds towards the Arc de Triomphe, he is still standing out of the sunroof, waving at crowds.

     
  18.  
    1001:

    Now at the Arc de Triomphe, Mr Hollande lays a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier - a tradition for all new presidents.

     
  19.  
    1016:

    Mr Hollande is back in his car, but the sunroof is closed this time possibly to save Mr Hollande getting completely drenched. Instead, the new leader is waving to crowds out of his back seat window.

     
  20.  
    Ann Mah in Paris

    tweets: Riding in rain v stoic, but couldn't they have brought extra suit jacket or allowed him to dry glasses? He looks like a wet pup. #Hollande

     
  21.  
    1021:

    Later, all eyes will be on Mr Hollande as he travels to Berlin to discuss the state of the European economy. During his campaign, Mr Hollande has argued for a need to promote growth, rather than focusing on austerity. But the view of officials in Berlin is that austerity has been agreed and cannot be loosened - and that this view will be clearly put to the new French leader, the BBC's Stephen Evans reports in a recent piece.

     
  22.  
    Francois Hollande at the Arc de Triomphe

    Here is Mr Hollande looking rather wet at the end of the ceremony at the Arc de Triomphe.

     
  23.  

    Former Prime Ministers Edith Cresson and Pierre Mauroy praise Tuesday's "sober ceremony", French TV itele tweets.

     
  24.  
    Christian Fraser BBC News, Paris

    says: "A change of leadership, and in Francois Hollande an unmistakable difference in style. The celebrations were brief, in recognition of the challenges ahead and today's transition of power is an equally sober affair."

     
  25.  
    Christian Fraser BBC News, Paris

    adds: "No partner, no children, no time to enjoy the ceremony or the trappings of state. Debt and unemployment and are at record levels in France, the economy is stuttering. Mr Hollande has spent the week preparing, and today the work begins in earnest."

     
  26.  
    1056:

    Mr Hollande's first job is to name a new prime minister, which he is expected to do on Tuesday afternoon.

     
  27.  
    1101:

    Jean-Marc Ayrault, leader of the Socialist group in Parliament and a German speaker and a close ally, is the one tipped for the job, correspondents say.

     
  28.  
    Lally in Paris

    emails: I am British and have been living in France. Watching the ceremony I am struck by how amazing to have all the pomp and powerful sense of history as we have on similar occasions with our Royal Family - with one crucial difference - an overwhelming sense of being part of it all.

     
  29.  
    1110:

    Before naming his prime minister, Mr Hollande is to eat his first lunch as president with Socialist former prime ministers Pierre Mauroy, Laurent Fabius, Michel Rocard, Edith Cresson and Lionel Jospin.

     
  30.  
    1118:

    Below are some of the pledges Mr Hollande made during the presidential campaign:

    • Renegotiate the euro budget deal with Germany to focus on growth rather than austerity
    • Impose a 75% tax rate on high earners
    • Hire 60,000 school workers
    • Lower the pension age from 62 to 60 for some workers
     
  31.  
    Bibhu R Sarangi in Paris

    emails: I am at [medical research centre] Institut Curie, where we all are waiting for president's visit. I can feel the prevailing sense of excitement among my scientist colleagues. Though I am from India still I am feeling as much excitement as everybody here.

     
  32.  
    @Paauul,

    tweets: Enjoy that in first presidential address #Hollande, when going through achievements of past presidents, just brushed over Chirac & Sarkozy

     
  33.  
    Journalist Emma-Kate Symons

    tweets: Newly invested French President #Hollande has been nicely made over for his 'enthronement'. He owes a lot of his victory to weight loss too!

     
  34.  
    1132:

    The UK's Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls says Tuesday's developments should offer new encouragement to the UK: "There is a real moment of opportunity here. Not just the election of President Hollande but also you are seeing noises now from Germany and also from the European Central Bank, a recognition that Europe in the eurozone needs to start to act, to break out of the false choice between policies for growth or for deficit reduction when you need both."

     
  35.  
    1133:

    Mr Balls adds: "And there's a chance with today's meeting in Berlin that we'll start to seem some progress and that will be very good news for Europe, very good news for Britain, because the fact is we've now been in recession for a whole year."

     
  36.  
    1138:

    Mr Hollande is next due to pay tribute to Jules Ferry, a 19th-Century educational reformer who founded France's free, secular education system. We have more on Jules Ferry here.

     
  37.  
    Sky News Business Correspondent, Alistair Bunkall,

    tweets: French stock market, CAC 40, slightly up today after swearing in of new President Francois Hollande. See graph: http://bit.ly/J69EL9

     
  38.  
    1157:

    Some 500 primary and secondary school pupils have been invited to attend the tribute to Jules Ferry at the Tuileries Gardens in Paris, reports say. Mr Hollande is still at the Elysee palace, French radio says.

     
  39.  
    French journalist Caroline Vigoureux

    tweets: Vincent Peillon, Socialist MEP and education campaign adviser to Francois Hollande, says the controversy surrounding the choice of Jules Ferry is "absurd".

     
  40.  
    1207:

    After his work in reforming education, Jules Ferry took on the role of foreign minister and adopted a policy of colonial expansion. He set up French protectorates in Tunisia and what is now Vietnam and extended French influence in Africa. Read more here.

     
  41.  
    1208:

    French radio reports that Mr Hollande is now at the Tuileries Gardens.

     
  42.  
    1209:

    The students invited for the occasion can be heard cheering the arrival of Mr Hollande. The sun is out again.

     
  43.  
    1216:

    Mr Hollande refers to the "moral and political" mistake made by Jules Ferry over colonisation in his speech at the Tuileries Gardens.

     
  44.  
    1217:

    Mr Hollande says priority will be given to schools in working class and rural areas.

     
  45.  
    1218:

    Jules Ferry is now trending on Twitter in France.

     
  46.  
    1223:

    Mr Hollande has now finished speaking and is shaking hands with dignitaries present. Enthusiastic applause can be heard in the background.

     
  47.  
    1227:

    Mr Hollande is now shaking hands with some of the pupils invited to the ceremony. "Which school are you from?" he can be heard asking one of them.

     
  48.  
    1231:

    Mr Hollande has said he will try to keep his presidency as "normal" as possible, and his enthusiastic hand-shaking must make his new presidential security detail nervous.

     
  49.  
    1232:

    Mr Hollande has now left the Tuileries Gardens.

     
  50.  
    1234:

    Next on the agenda is Mr Hollande's tribute to Marie Curie.

     
  51.  
    1235:

    Onlookers cheer as Mr Hollande's car passes them in the streets of Paris.

     
  52.  
    1236:

    Marie Curie was a world-renowned Nobel prize-winning chemist, and the first woman to be enshrined in the Pantheon - France's memorial to its greatest figures - in Paris in 1995.

     
  53.  
    1240:

    The convoy of cars carrying the new French president, flanked by dozens of motorcycles, is weaving its way through the Paris streets through light rain.

     
  54.  
    1243:

    Mr Hollande emerges from the car at the statue of Marie Curie to shake the hands of onlookers who shout: 'Bravo, Monsieur Hollande!"

     
  55.  
    1244:

    Mr Hollande and his partner shake the hands of scientists and researchers before placing a wreath of white roses at the foot of the statue of Marie Curie. Shouts and whoops emerge from the windows as the crowd is hit by a small shower of hail.

     
  56.  
    1249:

    Mr Hollande may need to change into a fresh suit. He is looking soaked despite being protected beneath a large black umbrella.

     
  57.  
    1253:

    Mr Hollande waves and shakes more hands as he leaves, smiling at those - many in white labcoats - who are shouting down to him from the windows.

     
  58.  
    1258: Hello Magazine,

    blogs: "End of an era as Carla passes on the baton of First Lady" looking at the outfits worn today by the wife of former president Nicolas Sarkozy, Carla Bruni and Valerie Trierweiler - partner of new French President Fran\u00e7ois Hollande.

     
  59.  
    1302:

    Mr Hollande's next stop is City Hall - L'Hotel de Ville - where he will be welcomed by Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoe.

     
  60.  
    1308:

    Mr Hollande has been driven around the French capital in a French car, the Citroen DS5 hybrid. Will his choice of car influence the increasing trend of making cars masculine? asks French newspaper Le Monde.

     
  61.  
    @carlmaxim,

    tweets: Francois Hollande has been sworn in as French President. He now travels to Germany to be sworn at by Angela Merkel.

     
  62.  
    1312:

    Mr Hollande has now arrived in the sumptuous City Hall and is awaited in a room lit by chandeliers.

     
  63.  
    1315:

    The greeting at City Hall for new presidents is a Republican tradition, according to Morgane Bertrand, writing in Le Nouvel Observateur.

     
  64.  
    1320:

    There is a jovial, celebratory mood as the officials wait in vast wood-panelled rooms for Mr Hollande to arrive.

     
  65.  
    1325:

    Mr Hollande - perhaps unseen from behind the glass - waves at the assembled crowd in the square outside L'Hotel de Ville. Now the sun has come out in Paris.

     
  66.  
    1330:

    Some interesting history of the building where Mr Hollande is expected shortly: in 2002, the mayor, fellow Socialist Bertrand Delanoe, was stabbed there during the first all-night, city-wide Sleepless Night (Nuit Blanche) festival when it was opened to the public.

     
  67.  
    1341:

    Mr Hollande arrives for the ceremony at the Paris town hall. He is accompanied by Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoe, also a Socialist.

     
  68.  
    1348:

    While all this is happening in France, Greece has announced it will go to the polls again after days of coalition talks failed to produce agreement on a new government.

     
  69.  
    1349:

    In elections on 6 May, a majority of Greek voters backed parties opposed to austerity plans demanded by the EU and IMF in return for two bailouts.

     
  70.  

    Mr Hollande's day in pictures so far here.

     
  71.  
    1359:

    Many Socialist dignitaries are present at the Paris town hall, including former government minister Martine Aubry and Mr Hollande's former partner and former Socialist candidate to the presidency Segolene Royal.

     
  72.  
    1401:

    Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoe addresses the gathering.

     
  73.  
    Thierry Baste, Plessis Trevise, Paris

    I voted for Mr Hollande. I was there on the Champs Elyse trying to get a glimpse of the newly sworn in president. I know that the task ahead and reaching an understanding with our European partners will be a tough juggling act for him. However, when a nation stands united, the challenge ahead can be tackled. Although I am only a moderate left wing supporter, people like me feel his election is a positive sea change for France.

     
  74.  
    1410:

    Mr Hollande gets up to speak.

     
  75.  
    1413:

    Mr Hollande says this is an important moment for those who elected him, but also for those who did not. He calls for the French people to unite.

     
  76.  

    His speech is being tweeted in real time on his official Tweeter page.

     
  77.  
    PJR, in Gard,

    emails: I am English and live in France. Hollande may disappoint, politicians often do, but how fortunate France is to have a decent and modest person as president. How I wish that the UK was for as fortunate.

     
  78.  
    1418:

    It is a Republican tradition for the French president to make a stop at the Paris town hall on the day of his inauguration.

     
  79.  
    1420:

    "Paris has a central role to play in France's recovery", Mr Hollande says.

     
  80.  
    1428:

    Cheers and applause at the end of Mr Hollande's speech.

     
  81.  
    1431:

    Mr Hollande is now expected to make a statement regarding his new prime minister at some point before flying off to Germany to meet Chancellor Angela Merkel.

     
  82.  
    1433:

    More cheers as Mr Hollande emerges from the Paris town hall onto the square outside. He shakes hands with the larger crowds of Parisians who have come to see him here.

     
  83.  
    Angelique Chrisafis, the Guardian's Paris correspondent,

    tweets: Meanwhile, #Sarkozy just stepped out of his official car in running gear, set off jogging around a Paris park. TV cameras there to film it

     
  84.  
    1441:

    Mr Hollande is back in his car and driving through the streets of Paris.

     
  85.  
    @FannyWanKenobi,

    tweets: The city hall of Paris is very crowded ! I couldn't have seen Hollande. No regret then ! (My college is 5 minutes away T.T {trending topic})

     
  86.  
    @Newshound103,

    tweets: Hollande is now President of France, let the #MerLande era begin. Hopefully they will do better than #MerCozy, but I wouldn't bet a \u20ac on it.

     
  87.  
    1450:

    Jean-Marc Ayrault is named France's new prime minister, says the Elysee palace.

     
  88.  
    1453:

    Mr Ayrault had been widely tipped as the man to be named PM. A former German teacher, he is a long-time ally of Francois Hollande and has led the Socialists' parliamentary group since 1997.

     
  89.  
    1454:

    Meanwhile, Mr Hollande is on his way to the airport for his first meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin.

     
  90.  
    1456:

    Jean-Marc Ayrault, 62, is now due to form a new government which will be announced late on Wednesday, the AFP news agency reports.

     
  91.  
    1503:

    Mr Hollande has arrived at the airport.

     
  92.  
    1505:

    Mr Hollande tells French TV: "We are now working for France's recovery", adding that he will tell Chancellor Merkel that "the situation is serious" and that "together we have to find solutions".

     
  93.  
    1507:

    Mr Hollande's plane is preparing to take off for Berlin.

     
  94.  
    1509:

    That brings to an end our live coverage of new French President Francois Hollande's inauguration. Please stay with the BBC News website for all the latest updates on world events.

     

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